Classroom with a view: Ziptrek's launched a new eco-education programme to fosture future sustainable tourism leaders


Ziptrek Ecotours has launched a new ‘outdoor classroom’ in Queenstown.

The Bob’s Peak-based business is using its treehouses and ziplines to showcase sustainable tourism at work and teaching how businesses can future-proof for environmental, social and financial success.

Ziptrek boss Trent Yeo says the interactive ‘‘eco-education’’ programme’s primarily targeted to tertiary students, career advisers and educators and is a practical take on STEM curriculum.

Science is covered off with talks about the company’s biodiversity, introduced species and Predator Free 2050 support, along with its work becoming a Carbon Zero business.

The systems and design used to streamline the business — like remote area solar energy powering cameras and gates — falls into technology, while the engineering component is
focused on the structural design benefits and challenges of the treehouses and ziplines.

Maths is applied to the metrics measuring the business and the physics and cable design in ziplines.

Two-hour tours, starting at $49 per person, are custom-designed to align with each group’s academic requirements and includes a zip, with options to upgrade.

Yeo says while Covid-19’s created opportunities for a tourism reset and a renewed focus on sustainability, more education’s needed to achieve New Zealand’s vision to lead the world in sustainable tourism.

‘‘We hope our new eco-education tour will help inform, inspire and empower NZ’s leaders of tomorrow to think more deeply about doing business in a way that creates long-term value for our people, our economy and our environment.’’

The programme’s been welcomed by Destination Queenstown.

Its interim boss, Ann Lockhart, says DQ’s ‘‘fully supportive’’ of the education initiative, particularly because it ‘‘helps us demonstrate that there is a future in tourism for our young
people, with exciting and innovative career pathways in the industry’’.